Malaysia hold Britain 1-1


Malaysia were minutes away from defeat as they trailed Great Britain 1-3, but two fantastic goals by ace striker Faisal Saari allowed them to snatch a draw at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh this evening. It was the second succesive draw for Malaysia after having held Korea to a 1-1 draw the previous day while Britain were left wondering how they let the three points slip out from their grasp.
It was a bad start for Malaysia as Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin got injured in the second minute after clashing with Richard Smith and needed stitches. The Kangar-born player received a cut just above his right eye after hitting into the shoulder of Richard Smith and he had to be stretched out. And to make matter worse, four minutes later Britain broke through the Malaysian defence to take the lead through Glenn Kirkham. Kirkham collect a pass from Matt Daly before pushing the ball past goalkeeper S. Kumar.
But the national team cheered by fans fought back and equalised off their first penalty corner in the ninth minute.
Mohd Amin Rahim push from the edge of the semi circle was swept into goal by Azlan Misron giving no chance to goalkeeper James Fair. Tengku, however, was back in action 10 minutes later. But it was Britain, who regained the lead in the 20th minute. Ashley Jackson collected a through pass from Nick Catlin before slamming the ball into goal. Two minutes later Azlan had the ball in the semi-circle but muffed his chance to get the equalising goal.
Britain, who are ranked fourth in the world, punished Malaysian for poor defending by scoring the third goal in 25th minute through Rob Moore from the top of the D. Britain earned their first penalty corner in the last seconds of the first-half but Barry Middleton low flick was saved by keeper Kumar. Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 39th minute but played the same variation, this time it was Marhan Jalil who was entrusted to sweep the ball, but was wrongly position to inflict any real damage. Great Britain opted for high press to keep the Malaysian defenders busy. But once the ball broke away, the strikers led by Tajuddin, Faisal Saari and Marhan broke through with ease but were unable to create goal scoring chanches. And then it was all Faisal as he reduced the deficit in the 67th minute with a stupendous reverse before levelling the match in the very next minute, also through a reverse hit.
India edge Korea: India bounced back from an opening match defeat to edge South Korea 2-1 in a closely-contested match. It was truly a classic encounter as India scored the winner with 55 seconds remaining to reignite their hopes after apoor match against New Zealand the previous day. India took the lead in the 12th minute when Sandeep Singh scored a penalty corner, ironically their only penalty corner of the match.
Just when India thought that they had wrapped up all three points, Korea scored the equaliser when the attempt by Nam Hyun Woo sailed into goal off the stick of Manpreet Singh in the 66th minute.
With a draw looking as the likely result, Tushar Khandker sent in a cross from the left which was deflected by SK Uthappa to give India the much needed win.
“It was a good first half but the players lost the plaot in the second half and allowed Korea to dominate the proceedings. The players were not playing to the instructions and game plan and hence we struggled to match the Koreans,” said India coach Michael Nobbs.
Kiwis polish off Argentina: New Zealand came from a goal down to defeat Argentina 5-2 this evening. Fresh from their 5-1 win over India the previous day, New Zealand made use of the chances they created. But they were guilty of muffing the penalty corners, only scoring twice from the ten they were awarded in them. As for Argentina it was their second straight defeat as they were defeated by Pakistan 4-2 on Friday. Argentina went ahead in the 3rd minute when Fernando Callioni broke away on the left before laying up a perfect pass for Lucas Cammareri to sidestep New Zealand keeper Kyle Pontifex and stroke the ball into an unguarded goalpost.
New Zealand was awarded a penalty corner in the 15th minute but the attempt by Andy Hayward was kept out by a goal line save by Argentina post man Manuel Brunet. But the Kiwis were on level terms in the 33rd minute when Phil Burrows turned in a cross into the semi circle by Simon Child. It was all square at halftime with New Zealand wasting four penalty corners they were awarded.
Though Argentina were awarded their first penalty corner in the 39th minute, the attempt by Pedro Ibarra was sent sailing over the bar. New Zealand were awarded a series of penalty corners, in the 39th, 43rd and 44th minutes. And it was of the penalty corner in the 44th minute that they took the lead with Hayward playing the ball square to Richard Petherick who scored with relative ease.
Argentina then threw men forward in search of the equaliser and were duly rewarded in the 52nd minute as Lucas Vila showed a cool head to lift the ball slightly over his opponents stick before unleashing a shot that had Pontifex strandard.
The joy was however shortlived as Hayward finally made it count via penalty corners as he nailed the 10th penalty corner of the match awarded to them in the 59th minute to make it 3-2. Shay Neal who flew into Malaysia last night to replace Blair Hilton netted the forth for the Kiwis two minutes later to give them a 4-2 lead. Arun Panchia made it 5-2 in the 64th minute and New Zealand go into the break in competition with a 100 per cent record of two wins out of two while scoring 10 goals and conceding only 3. Ibarra missing a stroke two minutes from time summed up Argentina’s fortunes so far in the tournament but credit to Pontifex for a fine save.